Arian made it a point to always help out around the house whenever she could, now more so that the family she was living with weren’t really her own. While her aunt instead that she was as much a daughter as any of her own children were to her, she still felt that she owed them. And since they wouldn’t accept any money she offered as rent, she just doubled the effort with the chores.

The large retired K9 that slept by her uncle’s recliner perked his ears up when she passed, but quickly went back to sleep when he saw it was only her. She poked her head into the kitchen and was relieved to find nobody around but herself. Setting her bag down and taking her jacket off, she cracked her knuckles as she looked over the kitchen.

Her aunt always kept it meticulously clean, but that was also because she was a professional chef. Nothing was ever out of place in the kitchen; the rest of the house was another story completely. Looking around quickly, Arian spotted everything she needed to make her aunt and uncle a quick dinner to show her appreciation.

Muttering to herself as she switched on the radio propped on the bread cupboard, she quickly set to work cleaning some vegetables, and had just chopped up some garlic when the front door opened.

She didn’t hear her aunt pottering around at the front door with a handful of groceries, and didn’t anticipate the sound of her voice very close to her ear as she chopped the onions.

“Arian! What are you…”

She stopped when the girl yelled out, dropping the knife onto the counter and moving away from the chopping board, one hand going to her mouth while the other went to her chest. Her aunt thought she saw tears forming in Arian’s eyes, and a small cut on her left finger (obviously from the knife).

“Dear? What’s wrong?”

“Don’t!” she screamed out, and the dog in the next room gave off one loud bark before bounding into the room, circling around her as she almost sobbed out. She rested her back against the cupboards and slid down to the kitchen floor, her hands still in exactly the same position they had been before, her eyes wide.

“Sweetie, what’s wrong?”

As the dog licked her face, Arian seemed to snap back into reality, although it was at a snail’s pace. Her hands fell away from her body and she closed her eyes, breathing in heavily. After a few minutes had passed, she seemed to notice the cut on her left hand, and brought it up to her face to examine.

“Let’s get a band aid for that, shall we?”

As her aunt disappeared into the medicine cabinet, Arian looked at the dog who was still sitting next to her, and shrugged at it.

“Care to tell me what happened there?”

She let her aunt wrap her finger up, Arian never took her eyes off the dog.

“The day they kicked me out, mum came into the kitchen screaming while I was making dinner.”